A Tool for Labor Negotiations

The movements against standardized testing has little to do with learning, children, testing, epistemology, or psychology. These movements are predominantly supported by teachers and unions as a means of leveraging school districts, parents and governments into minimizing accountability. If these movements were genuinely about anything other than leverage in a labor negotiation, we would be rethinking education from the top down.

We would be analyzing the student/teacher/classroom model. We would be reanalyzing these relationships given the internet and other emerging technologies. We would reanalyze the school schedule, homework, segregating information into subjects, testing, punishments, grades, and authority. We wouldn’t be looking to throw funding to schools and teachers, but rather critically analyzing what is best for children.

When teachers don’t have standardized tests, they merely instill a mildly different set of facts using the same methods; bribes, threats, coercion, manipulation, shame, etc. This isn’t because teachers are born with evil intent, but rather because they are cogs in a coercive and corrupt system.

Sure, maybe we should all be against standardized tests, but make sure you aren’t merely a tool for labor negotiations. Stand up against all tests, and stand up against the system as a whole. Don’t be used as a pawn for one side of a morally bankrupt system.

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Aaron White, married to a swell girl, is a business owner and unschooling father of two, going on three. His hobbies are music and poker. He resides in Southern California.

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